Trump’s dangerous final week in office
We all know where Donald Trump won't be on January 20 - Inauguration Day for President-elect Joe Biden.
Before his Twitter account was permanently suspended, the single-term US President confirmed he would be absent from the public ceremony in Washington DC next week.
But between now and then, and despite Speaker Nancy Pelosi confirming the US House will be moving forward with legislation to impeach him, Mr Trump has some unfinished business.
The Daily Beast reports the 74-year-old "literally yelled" on Friday: "I'm not going to resign."
BORDER WALL VISIT
Mr Trump is scheduled to visit the US-Mexico border on Tuesday to mark the completion of 400 miles (643 kilometres) of border wall.
According to the White House, he will travel to the town of Alamo in Texas to laud his accomplishments before he leaves the Oval Office.
It is expected to be his first public appearance since he addressed supporters on Wednesday at a rally before they stormed the US Capitol building in violent scenes that turned deadly for both rioters and police.
Mr Biden has pledged to freeze construction and take funding away from the border wall which was a prominent promise of Mr Trump's 2016 campaign.
Mr Trump diverted billions of dollars originally allocated for buying equipment for National Guard and Reserve units including trucks, fighter jets and ships to build sections of the wall.
Earlier this year, a federal appeals court ruled against the Trump administration in its transfer of $2.5 billion from military construction projects.
"There will not be another foot of wall constructed in my administration," Mr Biden told NPR in August.
According to The Daily Beast, Mr Trump may also sit for multiple media interviews in the coming days to boast about his "amazing achievements" including Middle East deals he and son-in-law Jared Kushner helped to strike.
Mr Trump has reportedly told his aides he wants to pardon himself, his three eldest children, Mr Kushner and his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani before his executive powers are cut off.
He has granted dozens of pardons while in office, including to former national security adviser Michael Flynn who had pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI during an investigation into Russia's involvement in the 2016 presidential election.
The last round of pardons were announced on December 23.
Bloomberg reports Mr Trump hopes to announce more on January 19, and the potential list includes rappers Lil Wayne (Dwayne Michael Carter Jr.), who has pleaded guilty to gun possession charges, and Kodak Black (Bill Kahan Kapri) who is serving a 46-month sentence for falsifying information to buy firearms.
Lil Wayne met Mr Trump in October.
Just had a great meeting with @realdonaldtrump @potus besides what he’s done so far with criminal reform, the platinum plan is going to give the community real ownership. He listened to what we had to say today and assured he will and can get it done. 🤙🏾 pic.twitter.com/Q9c5k1yMWf— Lil Wayne WEEZY F (@LilTunechi) October 29, 2020
Two people briefed on the matter have told the The New York Times Mr Trump had discussed with advisers whether to grant pre-emptive pardons to his children Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, Ivanka Trump and her husband and fellow senior White House adviser Jared Kushner.
No member of the Trump family has been accused of a federal crime but sources told ABC News the push for such action is an "insurance policy" against concerns of future investigations under the Biden administration.
It's not the first time a president has pardoned a member of his inner circle at the eleventh hour, with Bill Clinton granting a controversial pardon on January 20, 2001 for his brother Roger Clinton Jr. on cocaine possession and drug trafficking convictions from the 1980s.
A pardon cannot apply to conduct that has not yet occurred, or to any state crimes.
In an opinion piece for NBC News, Los Angeles law school professor Jessica Levinson said the Constitution is "maddeningly silent" as to whether a president can evaluate his own guilt.
"This is likely to be because the founders simply didn't think a president would ever be brash or corrupt enough to engage in pardon-worthy behaviour, and then to pardon himself," she wrote, adding that a self-pardon would make a president "above the law".
The pardon power, in Article Two of the US Constitution, allows the President "to grant reprieves and pardons for offences against the United States, except in cases of impeachment".
However, Mr Trump's plans for his final days may come undone if the House votes to impeach him this week for "incitement of insurrection".
"In protecting our constitution and our democracy, we will act with urgency, because this President represents an imminent threat to both," Ms Pelosi said in a letter to Democratic colleagues on Sunday.
"The horror of the ongoing assault on our democracy perpetrated by this President is intensified and so is the immediate need for action."
To remove a president from office, two-thirds of the Senate members must vote in favour.
The 45th presidency will otherwise end at midday on January 20 after exactly four years.
Originally published as Trump's dangerous final week in office